Chris Carmack

December 04, 2003|By Aron Davidowitz | Aron Davidowitz,SUN STAFF

In case you don't know who Chris Carmack is, you may want to ask your teen-age daughter. Odds are, if she watches Fox's hit series The O.C., she refers to him as Luke. Carmack, 22, was born in Washington and was raised in suburban Rockville. His passions centered on athletics until he reached high school and discovered the stage. He honed his acting skills in various productions and drama competitions.

The Magruder High School alum began a two-year stint at New York University, where he majored in theater at the Tisch School of the Arts.

Before grabbing his role as Luke Blanchard, Carmack worked as a model for both Guess? and Abercrombie & Fitch. On The O.C., Chris' character is at the center of the story line. He plays Marissa Cooper's (Mischa Barton) longtime boyfriend, the wealthy, confident and popular exaggeration of a Newport Beach, Calif., teen. Controversy erupts when Ryan Atwood (Benjamin McKenzie) moves to the neighborhood and sets his eyes on Marissa.

Carmack, who now lives in Santa Monica, Calif., just beyond the Orange County of the series, took a few minutes to chat with LIVE.

Around here, when people say "O.C." they are most often referring to Ocean City, not to Orange County. How long did it take you to make this adjustment?:

It was not that difficult of an adjustment, as you could imagine.

You are interested in blues and jazz, and you like to play the guitar and the saxophone. Any plans to incorporate your musical interests into your career?

That's something I do in my spare time. I wouldn't say I have any major career aspirations, as far as that is concerned, but I'd love to have a few gigs.

Fox recently announced plans to extend The O.C.. How long do you feel you, or any actor in general, can continue to play a teen-ager?

Once people stop buying it. I guess when people stop watching.

How is Luke's life on The O.C. different from Chris' life growing up?

Vastly different. Luke is a big athlete, with a lot of expectations heaped on his shoulders. It seems he doesn't do too hot under pressure, and that explains why he's such a jackass sometimes. I didn't have those kinds of pressures growing up. My parents always supported me.

Growing up, you enjoyed sports and acting. What or who inspired you to pursue a career as an actor?

There's one drama teacher at Magruder who runs a great drama program. His name is Mr. D'Anna. I really wanted to be a part of his program. I started having fun acting and decided I wanted to pursue a career. My parents supported my decision, and then I went to NYU and then out to California, and that was the beginning of the end.

Given all of your success since leaving Rockville, do you have any plans to return? Maybe for a 10-year Magruder High reunion?

Oh, I'll be back. I come back for all the holidays.

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